Equipment failure is a common cause of commercial truck accidents, with brake failure being one of the most common causes of all mechanical related truck accidents. Several studies have demonstrated the prevalence of brake failure crashes, including the Large Truck Causation Study (LTCCS), published here by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The following is a look at defective brakes and the legal implications that surround defective brake accidents. Learning the causes of mechanical brake failure in commercial trucks can assist accident victims in uncovering who was responsible for their accident and who can be held financially accountable.
Who is to Blame for Truck Accidents Caused by Defective Brakes?
When the brakes on a commercial truck fail or malfunction, multiple parties can be at fault, including:
- the trucking company
- the driver
- the party responsible for maintenance of the brakes, which is often the owner-operator
- the company who loaded the truck
- the brake manufacturer
The following is a more in-depth look as to the potential liability of these parties.
The Brake Manufacturer
Federal regulations are in place to ensure the safety of truck braking systems across the nation. Truck brakes must be able to:
- Decelerate at certain rates set by federal law and dependent upon the size of the truck;
- Meet certain braking force, again, dependent upon the weight of the truck;
- Meet requirements for automatic brake adjustments.
If the brakes do not meet federal safety standards, you could have a viable claim against the manufacturer of the brakes. Generally, a defective brake claim will be based on either the improper design of the brakes or a defect in the manufacturing of the brakes. Cases filed against the brake manufacturer are considered product liability cases.
The federal government investigates and tests brakes to ensure compliance. If they discover a truck brake is defective, they may issue a recall. If you have been injured by a truck with recalled brakes, this recall can serve as evidence of the manufacturer’s negligence.
Trucking Companies and Truck Drivers
Most trucking companies and truck drivers use great care in maintaining their vehicles. However, at times, the actions of the truck driver or trucking company will cause brakes to fail. Negligent actions can include the failure of the party responsible to maintain or adjust the brakes. All trucking companies and truck owners must maintain their brakes in a certain manner and keep records of compliance with federal requirements. Routine inspections prior to a trip are necessary to maximize safety. Failure to maintain truck brakes can cause brake failure and serious injuries for which the trucking company or truck driver can be held accountable.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 39 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!
Defective brakes are one of the main causes of truck accidents across the nation. The Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, offer representation to truck accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Our firm brings 30 years of experience to your truck accident case and fight diligently for the rights of our clients. Prompt action is vital to the success of your truck accident action. As such, do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as your time to file a claim after the accident is limited. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.